Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pass the Cheese Please and Share that Honey

Well, it's only been about a little over a month since we made cheddar cheese and although we are supposed to let it age about six months, we decided to cut it tonight and see how it is doing. It's pretty good! Very cheddary, but a bit soft still. Bernie thinks it would make a great spread, so I'm going to research that a bit.

It was such a nice, warm day today - in the 70's! Such a nice treat after weather that didn't get out of the 20's for a while. In keeping with my resolution to wander outside every day, I went with Bernie down to the cabin this afternoon to take care of some things. While we were there, we noticed a lot of activity around the hives our poor little bees used to occupy. Our hearts started pounding. Are those honey bees buzzing around those hives? We quickly gathered up our bee suits and went into the apiary to investigate. The hives were indeed full of honey bees - but they were simply robbing the left over honey. We noticed right away that there were a lot of fights happening on the porch of each, and that was the first clue that we had robbers. We opened each hive and while they were all full of bees, there was no brood and no queen. Just little hungry girls happy to find the bounty.

We left the hives out this winter hoping that they would get cleaned up, and I guess that's happening. The bees could be from a close by neighbor that raises them, or from one of our swarms that we never could locate. In any event, it was really nice seeing honey bees around those hives again and we are really looking forward to starting again in the spring. In the meantime, I'm happy to know the leftover honey is going to help out some other hungry little girls. They were so darn cute digging honey out of the combs I could have just kissed their little wings right off of them.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I do have to work tomorrow, but since I work from home, it won't be all that bad. And any day I don't have to leave the homestead is a good day. I'm not even going to the dump either - so don't even ask me, Bernie. Happy Birthday to me.

Bee Free,


MommyMommy said...

It is great to hear of your nice weather, I am afraid that this will cause more heartache for you in the long run. Once all those robbing girls know where your hive and it's honey is, they will continue robbing until either that colony decides to move in, or you move your apiary to a new location.

PS extremly jealous you have already interacted with honey bees this year.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Yes, it did my heart good to see so many buzzing around. We do intent to relocate the hives when we get our bees this spring. They are down at by the cabin on our property and we want them in our yard to make it easier to keep an eye on them. So until then, those little robbers can enjoy what's left and help get the hives cleaned up!

Daddy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Glad you guys are doing well. Did you get my email? See you at lobby day! Give me a call sometime.